A Learner's Journey

April 28, 2013
by 34mk2012
2 Comments

AITSL Self Assessment Tool: Professional Engagement

This is the second post written after completing the AITSL Self Assessment Tool for teachers. This post is my reflection on the section of the tool titled Professional Engagement and my areas of strength and areas for development. For me, this  really prompted me to think about how I see myself as a learner and how am I enabling and supporting the learning of my colleagues. 

Areas of Strength:

6.3L Initiate and engage in professional discussions with colleagues in a range of forums to evaluate practice directed at improving professional knowledge and practice, and the educational outcomes of students.

As part of a dynamic 5/6 teaching team this year, I have many opportunities to engage in collegial discussion about how to improve learning opportunities and outcomes for our students. Sometimes these discussions are data driven, using the data collected to plan a pathway forward for our students. Other times, these are idea sharing dialogues where each of us can contribute our thoughts, resources and plans for discussion and consideration. As the Religious Education Leader in our school, I believe it is my role to provide opportunities for staff to engage in rich, collegial discussion and have worked hard to build this into every meeting that I lead. In planning meetings, this discussion may take the form of personal reflection on the ‘big question’ we are using for inquiry with our students. The discussion may other times be based on some professional reading I have shared, or on specific issues such as the integration of ICT into our RE units. I have posted about the development of our ‘culture of dialogue’ previously. This has been a worthy pursuit as a leader and staff now value these times as opportunities to build knowledge and gain from the insights and experiences of one another.

7.4L Contribute to professional networks and associations and build productive links with the wider community to improve teaching and learning

Many of the connections built in this area have come about through my PLN on twitter which has afforded me opportunities to participate in twitter chats (#teacherwellbeingchat #summerbookclub #ozprimschat), attend TeachMeets, exchange ideas and resources and ask questions. I am hopeful that I am able to contribute to the professional growth of my twitter PLN as they do over and over again for me.  I am a member of the Executive Planning Team for the Eastern Region Religious Education Network and have had the opportunity to have input into the Professional Learning offered to the network and be a presenter on several occasions. My students have also benefited from my twitter PLN as we are now participants in initiatives such as quadblogging which not only build connections for the students, but also for me as a professional.As written about in the previous post, I am currently exploring a partnership with LLEN and continue to work hard to maintain our school’s integral links to our Parish and wider local community.

Areas for Development

6.1P Analyse the Professional Standards for Teachers to plan personal professional development goals, support colleagues to identify and achieve personal development goals and pre-service teachers to improve classroom practice.

One goal that has come out of completing the Self Assessment Tool is my intention to address the Professional Standards for Teachers on this blog. I would like to set up a new page where I can keep a record of how I am meeting the Professional Standards, highlighting the areas of focus for me each term. I would love for each member of our Leadership Team to complete the Self Assessment Tool as I believe once  completed, the possibilities for future learning and development become so much clearer. This may give the team  the impetus to start using such a tool with the staff and committing to Personal Learning Plans for each staff member. This will build a pathway towards more personalised learning for the staff, something we strive to achieve for our students but not often for ourselves!

7.1G Maintain high ethical standards and support colleagues to interpret codes of ethics and exercise sound judgement in all school and community contexts.

At Holy Spirit Community School, our ethical stance comes directly from our Vision Statement which opens with the quote from Galatians which calls us to live out the fruits of the Spirit in every aspect of our lives:

“… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  Galatians 5:22

Whilst this quote obviously has a very specific context, the values it espouses are ones that many people would aspire to in their interactions and relationships. This is very challenging in any context, but particularly in a school where so much diversity exists. I think it is vital that our Vision Statement is placed before all of our community regularly, to remind us of what is of value to us, to challenge our decisions and behaviors and to guide our policy making.

Once again, the Self Assessment Tool has provided me with much food for thought as well as some concrete actions I would like to take to further my own learning and journey as a professional educator. I can highly recommend the process as both affirming and challenging and would love to share in some other’s experiences and reflections.

Stay tuned for the next post coming soon on ‘Professional Practice’.

February 17, 2013
by 34mk2012
1 Comment

Learning to Storify

Another #etmooc task under my belt … my first storify. I decided to storify some of the tweets from the past week that demonstrate my PLN at work via twitter. I get so much from interacting with others on twitter – ideas, educational conversation and banter, feedback, affirmation and challenge, professional reading and even new shopping sites! (Every teacher needs a break!!) Here is a taste of my week on twitter …

 

 

January 20, 2013
by 34mk2012
3 Comments

Why I Blog

Tweeters in my PLN and in the ETMOOC community have been raving about Haiku Deck and how great it is to use and pleasant it is to watch. I had installed this app some time ago but never quite ‘got it’. So today’s project was to have a go and see what happened. As usual, the hardest thing is to decide what to create so I decided to collate and present some of the reasons why I blog, both personally and with my students. So here it is – nothing flash – just my thoughts – about the importance of blogging to me.

 

Haiku Deck is the best application for creating presentations on iPad

January 13, 2013
by 34mk2012
9 Comments

#etmooc Introduction Task

Our first task (other than getting organised!) for ETMOOC is to create a video/slideshow introduction to ourselves. I decided to use the app videoscribe to create mine with a tagxedo word cloud included as well. I have used this app to make clips for staff meetings and our 5/6 students have also used it – very simple and quite effective. Make up your own mind …

 

January 12, 2013
by 34mk2012
3 Comments

Twitter via Videoscribe

Last year, I came across a useful app called Videoscribe.  After introducing it to my 11 year old, he pretty quickly introduced it to his peers at school with great results. The app is easy to use and whilst not free, I think it is worth the $. It is yet another way students can communicate, share, explain, demonstrate and explore what they have learnt by creating something new. Here is my clip I created about the Power of Twitter for me as an Australian educator. Enjoy!

 

January 7, 2013
by 34mk2012
2 Comments

Things to come …

Well a new year is here and it will no doubt bring with it many new challenges. I am moving to a new level, 5/6 having taught 3/4 for the past three years. I am ready for the change and looking forward to seeing ‘what comes next’ for the students I have handed on over previous years.

Here are some commitments I am making for this new year:

  • continue to explore the purposeful use of ICT as a tool within my classroom. I am most interested in the opportunities ICT can provide for students in terms of the ways they can express their learning. I am keen to pursue the use of desktop computers and mobile devices for the creation of knowledge and understandings that can be shared.
  • pursue the use of classroom blogging as a means to more connected learning for my students. My class signed up for quadblogging last year via www.quadblogging.net and this was a great experience in building connections with students in other countries and having an authentic audience to share with. I would also like to explore ways of getting parents more on board with blogging.
  •  I am commencing a MOOC in mid-January which will be a completely new learning experience for me. This MOOC explores the use of technology in education and you can follow on twitter using the following hashtag #etmooc OR sign up yourself at www.etmooc.org
  • As I have completed my Masters now, I am going to engage in professional reading around the topics of the collaborative classroom, creating a positive learning culture and leadership within schools. I already have a stack of books on my list and will add to it with recommendations from my PLN on twitter.

So, I will stick to four commitments that I think are achievable rather than adding the myriad of other options floating around my mind. Watch this space to see how I go …

 

 

October 21, 2012
by 34mk2012
0 comments

Collaborating via the twitterverse!

The week before last, I was scrolling through my twitter feed as I love to do, when I came across  one from @deputymitchell requesting a class that would be interested in making a video to inspire his class about problem solving. Although video is not my forte, I jumped at the chance to collaborate with another school across the oceans. Our brief was to make a video showing students struggling to solve a problem and deciding to consult the class blog of @deputymitchell for help. This is what the students came up with:

Problem Solving

They did this independently with minimal assistance from me. I gave them a problem to use but they found it hard to ‘fake’ not understanding it because it was too easy and they knew exactly how to solve it! I was so proud of the great job they did. I love it when students just ‘run with’ an idea and take it somewhere I have never imagined myself. I constantly marvel at how capable my students are! We are looking forward to further ‘conversation’ with Deputy Mitchell’s class via their class blog as they respond to our video.

We have also been the focus blog for quadblogging this week so have had lots of visitors from our partner schools in the UK. Having such a global audience is enormously rewarding for my students and highly motivating. They have enjoyed responding to comments made and are just as keen when it is our turn to visit one of the other blogs for the week. Follow @quadblogging on twitter.

I tweeted out a request for help earlier last week collecting data about favourite icecream flavours. We have had responses on our blog from all over the world  and have now some real data to use in our Data Maths unit. Students have delighted in seeing the variety of responses and places they have come from. Thanks to all the tweeting participants!

So over the past two weeks, my students and I have reaped great benefit from the support of my PLN … Time well spent investing in building  and participating in it!

August 11, 2012
by 34mk2012
4 Comments

MYSA Travelling Scholars

During the week, I was fortunate enough to attend the workshop with George and Alec Couros organised through the MYSA Travelling Scholars program. I have been following George and Alec for a few months on twitter and knew this would be a fantastic learning opportunity –  and I wasn’t wrong. 

The day was titled “Anywhere, anytime, anyone: transitioning toward 21st Century learning.” It was a small intimate group and by the end of the session, many new connections had been made. Some of the things that stuck with me are:

Schools as centres for learning, not just for students but for all staff as well. Sounds obvious but I often feel the learning needs of staff can be easily overlooked. If our students see us trying new things and learning with them, that is extremely powerful and most likely liberating for both students and teacher. I have had many opportunities in the last couple of years to allow students to teach me something that they know and it certainly brings out the best in them. I have been blown away with what they are capable of when I am prepared to hand over to them and share the learning process.

Innovation – George spoke about the need to stop talking and start doing! Sometimes, you need to go out on a limb, take a chance and just give it a go. I have found value in this approach recently in my own classroom and some of the things I have tried have worked and some not so well. We so readily tell our students that making mistakes is how we learn but can often be reticent to face that in ourselves. I firmly believe that our schools need a clear pathway toward creating a school climate that allows for personalised, relevant and rigorous learning but it can be all too easy to get bogged down in the discussions and never get around to the action.

Connection – so important for all education stakeholders. We all crave it and how rewarding it is when it is achieved. George spoke passionately about how technology can actually work to personalise education and enable us to connect deeply with our students. This is a challenging idea for many teachers who feel very cautious about the ‘risks’ associated with social media.

One of the quotes of the day was “Put it out there and let the world decide!”  I guess in starting this blog, that is exactly what I am doing!

I have placed Geroge’s blog on the blogroll – it is well worth a regular look.

Thanks to George and Alec for inspiring Melbourne teachers and for being such innovative and engaging educators.

 

August 11, 2012
by 34mk2012
0 comments

Here I Go!

Having joined the twitter educational community 3 months ago and starting a class blog, here I am now starting my own! I have been on an amazing professional learning journey in the past few months which is invigorating and exciting.

Starting a class blog is something I had wanted to do for a while so in the last school holidays, it was time. After many hours playing around, it was up and running and 3/4 MK and I were away.

I have been astounded to see the far reaching impact of such a relatively simple change to my classroom practice. The students are highly motivated to record, write and publish the learning and events of our classroom to the blog and have continued to engage in the classroom after school and on holidays. The connections it has allowed to the world wide community of learners as well as our more immediate learning community have been wonderful and to see the excitement of the students when we receive comments has been great.

After some encouragement from our school bursar, I also opened a twitter account. What a revelation that has been! Just this week, I been a part of some stunning Professional Development that I would never have known about other than through twitter. I have been able to read some great articles, participate in educational chats, share ideas, visit other blogs and build a PLN in such an accessible and supportive environment.

And so my journey continues … it is an exciting and inspiring time to be in education!

Skip to toolbar